London, 3 March 2016 – Autolus Limited ("Autolus"), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialisation of next-generation engineered T-cell therapies for haematological and solid tumours, announced today that Dr Christian Itin will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect.
Dr Itin is a leader in the immuno-oncology field. Previously he served as President and CEO at Micromet Inc., a former NASDAQ-listed biopharmaceutical company, which was acquired in 2012 by Amgen. At Micromet, Dr Itin and his team pioneered the field of T-cell engaging antibodies, or BiTEs. The lead program, blinatumomab, obtained approval by the FDA as breakthrough therapy for the treatment of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Christian spent 13 years with Micromet in a number of senior management roles, becoming CEO in 2004. He continues to serve as Chairman of Autolus and Kuros Biosciences AG, and serves on the board of Kymab Ltd. From November 2012 to January 2016 he served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Cytos Biotechnology Ltd.
Dr Edward Hodgkin, Partner with Syncona LLP, who has served as Chief Executive Officer of Autolus since its inception in September 2014, will transition to a Non-Executive Director role with immediate effect.
Edward Hodgkin commented:
"We're fortunate to have attracted an individual of Christian's calibre to lead Autolus. He brings the right qualities to manage the company through its next phase of growth, with products entering clinical development and a maturing technology platform providing strong differentiation over the competition. Christian is a leader in the field and Autolus will benefit greatly from his leadership."
Christian Itin said:
"This is a great time to be taking over leadership of Autolus. The company has people of the highest quality, a strong operational base, and a pipeline of highly differentiated, innovative engineered T-cell products. Ed's role as the start-up CEO illustrates the effectiveness of Syncona's approach to fulfilling operational roles within their portfolio companies to provide a strong foundation for growth."
Martin Pule, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Autolus, added:
"Christian has already made a tremendous impact through his role as Chairman. We are fortunate to have attracted him into the CEO role. He brings a unique expertise in the development and commercialisation of novel therapeutics which harness the considerable potency of T-cells. This appointment is a watershed moment for us, and Autolus is rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the engineered T-cell field. This is in large part thanks to the careful stewardship of Syncona and Ed Hodgkin's leadership."
Autolus is founded upon the work of Dr Martin Pule, an academic clinical haematologist at University College London and a thought-leader in T-cell engineering. It is a next-generation engineered T-cell company, developing a series of T-cell products based on its proprietary targets, constructs and technologies.